The Texas Coffee School French Press How-To Guide
Below you will learn the science, technique and best practices essential to making outstanding French Press coffee. If you want to learn more about coffee extraction and gain an in-depth understanding of every primary coffee brewing method, check out our Coffee Education Program for a complete list of upcoming coffee classes and barista training workshops.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
• Hot water (198 to 205 Degrees F)
• A high-quality burr grinder
• A high quality, stainless, double wall insulated French Press
• A digital kitchen scale
• A Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle for controlled pouring and accurate water temperature.
• A digital timer
• Either a spoon, spatula or whisk for stirring
THE FRENCH PRESS
Classic, elegant, versatile and simple. The French Press offers on-demand, low-waste
coffee brewing and is a time-honored favorite home brewing method. There are a lot of fancy coffee brewing methods available these days, but when it comes to being tried-and-true, it's still hard to beat a good old French press.
French Press: 1.6 - 2.0 grams of coffee per fluid ounce of water
If you don't have a scale, use 2 table spoons of coffee per 6 fluid ounces of water.
French Press: Comparable to coarsely cracked pepper
French Press: 4 minutes
Brewing Water Temperature:
French Press: 198 - 205 Degrees F
If you are using a Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle, set your temperature to 204 or 205 degrees. The temperature will drop a little bit when it comes into contact with the coffee. If you are using a hot water tower in a coffee shop and use a traditional (non-heated) kettle, such-as the Hario Buono, set the tower to 208 degrees to compensate for the temperature drop that occurs when the water comes into contact with a room temperature kettle. Fill kettle 80% full for best temperature stability.
STEPS FOR BREWING
1. Using the guide above, weigh and properly grind the coffee, and place grounds directly into the French press. Place the French press on your digital scale and push the "tare" button to zero it out.
2. While simultaneously starting your timer, with a gentle pour, saturate the grounds, allowing the coffee to “bloom.” Try to add only enough water to saturate the grounds, or until press is half full.
3. Using your preferred utensil, gently stir the coffee, trying to agitate and equally disperse the crust that appears after the coffee blooms.
4. Carefully pour until your digital scale reads the appropriate water weight you determined for your correct coffee-to-water ratio.
5. Now fix the lid/plunger to the French press without pushing the plunger down into the coffee. (This will help a little with temperature stability.)
6. After 4 minutes have elapsed, press plunger down gently yet firmly, and serve immediately.
Register for the Texas Coffee School Brewing Methods Class
Adjust parameters to compensate for individual coffee characteristics. For example if you find the coffee too bitter, coarsen the grind to help ease extraction. Note that such changes require increasing the coffee-to water ratio to balance the concentration.
Small changes in technique can result in big flavor changes, so be sure to use consistent pouring, timing, and stirring techniques.
As a general rule, darker roasts work well with cooler water and lighter roasts with hotter water.
Too long of a brew time can lead to over extraction; too short can lead to under extraction. Use time as a tool to fine tune a brew.
Keep your French Press clean by thoroughly rinsing after each use and occasionally using a cleaner recommended for coffee pots. We recommend Urnex Tabz or other applicable Urnex products.
Water Quality – Use clean water free of any off tastes or odors. Water quality differs from region to region, so a water quality test should be taken to discern the appropriate treatment required. If you are home brewing, a Brita pitcher will work just fine. Do NOT use bottled water. It tends to be "too filtered" and there are not enough TDS in the water for "the good coffee flavors to attach to". If this water is used the coffee can taste quite bitter and undesirable.
Texas Coffee School offers a variety of coffee and barista training classes that can enhance your coffee knowledge and brewing skills. CLICK HERE for classes and enrollment details.